Monday, April 18, 2016

ROCOR Holy Synod on the Proposed Texts for the Great and Holy Pan-Orthodox Synod

 To the Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics and Pious Faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!

In light of the welcome publication of the documents to be considered by the forthcoming Pan-Orthodox Council, scheduled to take place on Crete from 16-27 June 2016, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has undertaken to examine these texts, together with a multitude of other Hierarchs, clergy and laity who are doing the same as preparations for the Council continue, and to communicate with our God-preserved flock and others the manner of suggestions we are proposing, since the documents of the Council are the cause of interest and questioning to very many. We are reminded, in this as in all things, of the words of the Lord to the Holy Apostle St. Peter, when He pronounced that the future shepherd’s work would be to feed My sheep (John 21:17); and likewise that the food for those who love Him is to diligently preserve what Christ has taught them: If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15), and If a man love me, he will keep my words (John 14:23).

It is with zeal for such divine commandments that the whole plenitude of the Hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church seeks to apply the counsel of the Righteous Solomon: incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding (Proverbs 2:2), scrutinizing the documents that have been made available to us with humility, diligence and obedience. This task is undertaken in a spirit free from fear or worldly worry, since we fervently trust that God Himself is ever the helmsman of the Church, and as He has guided her through the many centuries to our day, so He will continue to guide and preserve us now and until He comes again. Rather, we offer reflections on a few of the texts as a means of conjoining our thoughts to those of many others who are working for the good of all our inter-Orthodox endeavours, including His Holiness the Patriarch and those members of our Russian Orthodox Church who labour with him in these preparations.

While certain of the documents—which have been prepared by the Pre-Conciliar Conferences for the Council’s consideration, but which are of course not final texts and are necessarily preliminary—do not give rise for concern in our reading, and indeed contain elements of useful clarification (for example, the document “Autonomy and the Means of Proclaiming It”), the employment in others of ambiguous terminology, a lack of theological precision, and ecclesiological language foreign to the sacred tradition of the Church, demand commentary that may lead to their correction. This is most notably the case in two documents: “Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World”, and “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World”; and a few issues arise also with the procedural text entitled “Organisation and Working Procedure of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church.”

Read the rest here.


lannes said...

Evidently the hierarchs have bought into the politically correct terminology "human person" as opposed to the generic - and not sex-specific - term "man".

Samn! said...

It's not about gender, which wouldn't make any sense in the Greek. It's about the theological vocabulary of Zizioulas.

lannes said...

Average person probably knows little or nothing about Zizoulas, but he/she/it knows tampering with the English language to make it politically correct when
he/she sees it.

Samn! said...

Which is irrelevant to a document in Greek.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

God's will be done, but I can't help but pray that the Holy Spirit keeps this Council innocuous and largely symbolic.